Choosing the right web hosting plan can seem a bit daunting, especially if you aren’t a techie. So, in this post we’ll take a look at the differences between the four different types of hosting- Shared Hosting, SSD Hosting, VPS Hosting, and Dedicated Server.
Let’s run through each in our beginner´s guide.
This type of web hosting is a great place to start. Among other types of hosting plans, it’s the one that most people will be familiar with. It’s called shared hosting because your data (website files, databases, emails etc.) are stored on a powerful server along with other customers’. It is suitable for absolute beginners.
The advantage of shared hosting is that it’s low cost and has all the features you would need such as a web hosting control panel (we use cPanel) where you manage all the aspects of your hosting like setting up email addresses. You also get access to a Website Builder Tool to allow you to build a stunning new website.
With shared hosting you are sharing all of the main resources of the server such as the CPU, RAM memory and disk space with other customers on the server. In order to prevent any one particular customer from using all of the server’s resources (and affecting other customers), we use a tool called CloudLinux, which keeps the resources spread evenly over all the customers’ accounts on the server.
With our shared hosting servers, we use Dell hardware and all servers are equipped with Dual Power Supplies, Dual Processors and 10K SAS Enterprise hot swap hard drives in a RAID10 configuration. This means that redundancy is built in to our servers to ensure maximum uptime.
To give you an analogy, shared hosting is like flying business class. You get plenty of room along with a great selection of destinations, but you have to fly from a standard airport and in terms of onboard cuisine, you can choose from the standard menu on offer.
See the following infographic listing the different types of web hosting based on knowledge, budget and requirements.
If you want super fast hosting, our SSD Hosting is the plan to go for. It’s the same as shared hosting, but we use super fast Solid State Drives (SSD). These are incredibly fast; that is becoming more and more important these days especially since the speed at which your website loads is a ranking factor with Google.
With SSD drives there are no moving parts, unlike traditional hard drives. They are electronic devices and they are extremely quick and reliable so there are some serious advantages with SSD hosting. In this type of hosting, we restrict the number of domains on one server to ensure the highest possible level of service.
Going back to the analogy above, SSD hosting is like flying first class in a supersonic jet. You get the same choice of great destinations, the menu is set for you but you get to your destination much, much faster and you share the cabin with fewer passengers.
When we looked at shared hosting above, one of the main points to consider is that you are sharing the server’s key resources such as RAM and CPU. You are also restricted from changing any of the server’s configuration settings (i.e. version of PHP, security settings). For most people, that won’t be an issue. But if you are running a busy website/eCommerce store or you want to run a particular configuration that your website software requires, VPS Hosting will definitely meet your needs.
The way that a Virtual Private Server or VPS works is that a physical server is split into several virtual servers. In this type of hosting, each server is its own self contained unit and it’s allocated its own guaranteed resources such as CPU, RAM and disk space. The advantage to you is that you can have all of the power and functionality of a dedicated server but at a fraction of the cost. Each VPS has its own web hosting control panel too and you can choose which operating system you require whether it is a Linux based one (eg: CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu) or Windows. You can choose whether you want a 1GB, 2GB or 4GB VPS Plan.
Our VPS Hosting is offered via our high availability cloud infrastructure. What this means is that your data is stored across many different hard drives on several physical servers. The result is that the possibility of hardware related downtime is dramatically reduced because if one server fails the data is available via the other servers in the cloud. The cloud also means that if you need more power, you just upgrade your plan and it’s done in an instant. There is no waiting around.
With our VPS we have two types for you to choose from. We have fast UK VPS which uses fast, Enterprise grade 10K SAS hard drives and our SSD VPS which use super fast SSD drives.
Going back to the airline analogy VPS Hosting is the equivalent of a Private Jet club where you get full use without owning the plane. You get to choose where you fly to and when. There are very few other passengers on board, the menu is a la carte and if you need to get there in supersonic time the SSD VPS is the one to go for.
As with the VPS option a Dedicated server you are in complete control, but this time you don’t share the hardware with anyone. It is the ultimate in terms of power and control because you get all of the server’s key resources assigned to you such as CPU, RAM and disk space.
Going back to our analogy, this is like owning your own private jet. You can go the full Elvis and customise your server exactly the way you want it. Fly when you want, to where you want and with whom you want. You are 100% in control.
Managed VPS and Dedicated Servers
One thing that may concern you about upgrading to a VPS or a Dedicated Server is the prospect of managing it. Some people love server administration and that’s great – they get full root access and can run it how they want. But if you just want to focus on running your business with no desire to manage your VPS or Dedicated Server, leave it to us.
We’ll set it up, configure it, make sure it’s kept up to date and anything else to make sure it runs the way it should. You can order the Managed Service when you order your service.
Which one of these web hosting types are you familiar with? Feel free to leave a comment.